The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Revolver Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 19, 2002, 10:54 PM   #1
Poe
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 2002
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 6
Ammo question: Full Metal Jacket vs. Lead Round Nose

I'm a newbie looking for a target/practice load for my .38 Special. Wal-Mart had several different types to choose from - and I ended up with some Winchester USA White Box 130 grain Full Metal Jacket ($8.93/ box of 50). Was that a good choice?

What are the pros/cons of the FMJ vs. plain old lead round nose?

Anybody got any links to sites where I can learn more about ammo in general? Different styles/compositions of bullets, grain count, etc.

Thanks,
John
Poe is offline  
Old October 20, 2002, 01:59 AM   #2
KEN CHAVEZ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 5, 2002
Location: MIDWEST, USA
Posts: 250
Welcome to TFL Poe!

I bought my first gun (a Ruger Security Six) in 1981. To save money I use to shoot lead bullets, but the only thing I remember was what a pain it was to clean the lead out of my guns, only to save a few pennies. So since about 1984 to now I shoot nothing but jacketed ammo.
IMO you made a very good choice.

Try this link:
http://www.ammolab.com
__________________
KEN C.
KEN CHAVEZ is offline  
Old October 20, 2002, 04:02 AM   #3
Cee-Zed
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2002
Posts: 481
Ken gave you some good info. The only thing I would add is that exposed lead is good for defensive applications, but not for what you have in mind at this point.

Odds are that your revolver will shoot low with the Winchester USA White Box 130 grain Full Metal Jacket. It was a good choice, because you are going to be learning basic operation, etc. the first few times out. Personally, I see no point in shooting expensive ammo when you are getting used to the gun. If it does shoot low (may or may not), try a 158gr load. Many revovlers are "set up" for this bullet weight (since most defensive loads are in this weight).

Some people will say that you should always shoot the same load, never use cheaper ammo, etc. However, how will you ever find out what shoots well in your gun? If you like your .38 and want to shoot more, please private e-mail me and I will give you a few tips on deciding whether or not reloading is for you. This will help you a lot in .38 if you are interested in target shooting, and it is probably one of the easiest calibers to reload.
Cee-Zed is offline  
Old October 20, 2002, 07:42 AM   #4
Mannlicher
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 8, 2001
Location: North Central Florida
Posts: 2,968
My thoughts pretty much reflect what others have said. FMJ, or ball ammo, is fine for plinking. If you use this .38 for defensive work, then ball is not a good choice.'

For Social work, a different cartridge will also shoot to a different point of aim, depending on it's velocity, bullet weight, and how you handle the difference in recoil.

My advice would be to buy several other types of ammunition, JHP, JSP, LSWC, and find one that both you and your .38 revolver like. Then practice a LOT with it.
__________________
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset

"The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they're ignorant; it's just that they know so much that isn't so.".........Ronald Reagan
Mannlicher is offline  
Old October 20, 2002, 08:42 AM   #5
Al Thompson
Staff Alumnus
 
Join Date: May 2, 1999
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 3,603
Hi Poe!

IMHO, the best defensive round for .38s is the 158 grain +P LSWCHP. There are a couple of shops around Columbia that carry these loads. The nice thing is that you can usually shoot 158 grain loads that duplicate the impact on the target, so no having to remember a different sight hold.

I have been using a FMJ 148 grain wad cutter loaded by Atlanta Arms lately. I like the accuracy and the ease of cleaning. If I can't get that load, I still tend to stick with a jacketed bullet simply for the cleaning advantage.

If you haven't tried it, Iosso's Gunbrite works great for cleaning. The Wal-Mart here carries it.

HTH
__________________
http://www.scfirearms.org/
Al Thompson is offline  
Old October 21, 2002, 08:53 AM   #6
Poe
Junior Member
 
Join Date: October 11, 2002
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 6
Thanks for the replies & welcomes all. This is a VERY informative site!

I've seen a post or two where people said to avoid the +P stuff in older guns. My .38 Special is a 1943 Colt "Official Police" - 4" barrel. Should I stay away from +P in it?

The only ammo I've put through the gun (bought used 15 years ago - and basically tossed in a drawer and hardly ever used) was 158 grain lead round nose - maybe 100 rounds or so. I was just talking about "plinking", so it sounds like the stuff I just bought will be fine (even better from a cleanup standpoint). Maybe I'll move up to the jacketed 158 grn when I buy more. I'll also pick up some JHP for defensive rounds.

I definitely have a lot to learn. I thought (before doing a lot of reading this weekend) that the "grain" of a load was some measure of the powder in it, not the weight of the bullet! (told you I was a newbie! ) The sad part is so did the guy who sold me the ammo at Wal-Mart! Oh well... what can you expect from Wal-Mart.

Hey Gizmo99/Al... I work in Columbia. Where is a good place to practice/target shoot in/around Cola.? The only place I know of is "Shooters Choice" indoor range - but I've never been there. I called them and they charge $6.00 for 30 min. Is that where I should go - or is there a better place?

Thanks for the help!
John
Poe is offline  
Old October 21, 2002, 11:29 AM   #7
Cee-Zed
Junior member
 
Join Date: March 2, 2002
Posts: 481
"I thought (before doing a lot of reading this weekend) that the "grain" of a load was some measure of the powder in it, not the weight of the bullet! (told you I was a newbie! ) The sad part is so did the guy who sold me the ammo at Wal-Mart! Oh well... what can you expect from Wal-Mart."

Welcome to the confusing, but never boring, world of firearms! It is BOTH. A grain is just a unit of mass (7,000 grains = 1 pound). This measurement is used here in the US because we refuse to go metric (fine with me) and because the weights of most components (cases, powder, bullets, etc.) are quite small.

Although there has always been an "international arms industry," so to speak, it really didn't begin evolving into the entity that we know today until the turn of the last century. By and large, each individual country and/or manufacturer devised their own nomenclature. Today, we have to sort through a LOT of terms that are misleading, redundant, etc. It is sort of interesting in its own right, but it can be very confusing.
Cee-Zed is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08804 seconds with 7 queries